Skip to main content
9:35 pm
o in promoting our arms industry which employs thousands of people in this country, impedes our ability to tell allies and other governments where we have real concerns about human rights record, about a democratic record and about the civil liberties record and that's exactly what the prime minister has been doing this week. >> mr. speaker, i sometimes think the deputy prime minister would like to send me to a jungle in australia for a month . would he agree with me that when two different parties get together in the national interest to clear out the mess that labor left us, particularly in driving unemployment down, let me just pick one constituent city, in corby, it went down 4.6% last month. >> for the first time in my parliamentary career, i wholeheartedly agree with him. let's just savor and treasure this moment.
9:36 pm
because i suspect it will be very, very rare, indeed. but i like it when i heard the honorable member had been sent to a jungle to eat insects, i thought despite the appearance of civility from my new chief whip this indicated a new disciplinaryian approach in our whip's office and i totally agree with him we are doing a great job together to fix the economy and great jobs for people in the future and that's a great shared endeavor. >> you've been watching prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. question time airs live on c-span 2 every wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern when the house of commons is in session, and again on sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. next week, members are out for a short autumn re-recess. question time returns on wednesday, november 21, 2012. watch any time at where you can find video of past prime minister's questions
9:37 pm
and other british public affairs programs. . [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corps 2012] >> c-span invites middle and high school students to send a message to the president through a short video, let president obama know what is the most important issue he should consider in 2013 for a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. c-span's student competition is open to students grades 6-12 and the deadline is january 18, 2013. for complete details and rules, go online to >> next, president obama takes part in the veterans day ceremonies at arlington national cemetery.
9:38 pm
then a discussion on the impact of president obama's re-election in afghanistan. then at 11:00 p.m. q and a with film director matthew heineman. president obama and other dignitaries gathered at arlington national cemetery for this year's ceremony honoring the nation's veterans. the president laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns before proceeding to the nearby amphitheater where he gave his annual veterans day address. joining him was veterans affair secretary eric shinseki. this is just over 45 minutes.
9:39 pm
9:40 pm
>> present arms! ♪ ♪
9:41 pm
[star spangled banner plays] >> present arms!
9:42 pm
[drum plays]
9:43 pm
["taps" plays]
9:44 pm
9:45 pm
♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the parade of colors. as we march on the colors, the united states navy band will perform the national emblem march. please place your hand over your heart or render a hand
9:46 pm
salute. ♪ ♪
9:47 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
9:48 pm
9:49 pm
9:50 pm
>> please remain standing for the prayer of all veterans delivered by reverend keitheth rinl representative of the department of veterans' affairs chaplin service. >> please join me in prayer. >> eternal god, we seek your blessing this morning as we come together united as one people to honor veterans of every generation. each time we come to arlington and stand in this sacred place, we feel your presence, along with all who are memorialized here. so we come today with thankful hearts, knowing well that we owe our very existence as a nation to veterans living and dead who dedicated their lives to the cause of freedom.
9:51 pm
as we honor our veterans, we also remember their families and loved ones. we know that they, too, have sacrificed much in support of their military men and women in times of war and peace. today we remember our veterans who have returned from the battle to face unexpected challenges at home. help them to take their skills and build new and meaningful lives in the cities and rural communities all across our land. we pray for our military members who are serving in harm's way in afghanistan and around the world. may they know that a grateful nation remembers and honors their service. now may your presence bring healing and comfort to our nation's veterans and their families.
9:52 pm
hear our prayer for veterans. amen. >> amen. >> now i'd like to invite mr. rick delaney, national president of the retired illicit association to lead us in our pledge of allegiance. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god , indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> please be seated. it is now my distinct privilege to introduce the members of the veterans day national committee . the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to hold this annual observance in honor of america's veterans and
9:53 pm
to encourage and support veterans day observances throughout the nation. please hold your applause until i've introduced these special guests. if you're able, please stand when i call your name. rick delaney, national president of retired and enlisted association. harold fritz, president, congressional medal of honor society. larry paulson, national commander, disabled american veterans. norbert ryan jr., national president, military officers association of america. steven wojciechowski, legislative director of polish legion of american veterans. james ferris, national president, korean war veterans association. albert gonzalez, national commander, american g.i. forum. shelden oren, national commander, jewish war veterans of the u.s.a. charles sasino jr., national commander, american ex-prisoners of war.
9:54 pm
leo haley, national commander, catholic war veterans of the u.s.a. william meeks, secretary, vietnam veterans of america. john hamilton, commander in chief, veterans of foreign wars of the united states. cleve gear, national commander aamvets. samuel hunt, national president, blinded veterans association. john cahill, national commander, army and navy union of the u.s.a. h. gene overstreet, national commander, noncommissioned officers. james kutz, national commander, the american legion. bruce mckenty, national commander, military order of the purple heart of the u.s.a. mark kilgore, national president, fleet reserve association. james tuey, national commandant, marine corps league. edward brogan, national president military chaplin association. bill lawson, national
9:55 pm
president, paralyzed veterans of america. benny atkins, national commander, legion of valor of the u.s.a. gary angen, commander in chief, military order of the world wars. jack clemp, president, national association for uniform services. the associate members of the committee are located in the boxes to my left. i'd like to ask the presidents and national commanders of our associate members to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing our veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause] >> it is now my pleasure to introduce our veterans organization host, founded in 1963, the retired enlisted association is dedicated to
9:56 pm
enhancing the quality of life for uniform services, enlisted personnel, their families, and survivors, including active duty, veterans, reserves, national guard, and all retirees. the retired enlisted association is represented today by their national president, retired air force master sergeant, rick delaney, a vietnam veteran, mr. delaney resides in warner robins, georgia. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome mr. rick delaney. [applause] >> thank you. president obama, secretary shinseki, members of congress, members of the armed services, ladies and gentlemen, fellow veterans, and friends, it is an honor and a a privilege for the retired enlisted association to host this year's veterans day ceremonies and i want to welcome each of you here.
9:57 pm
mr. president, congratulations on your re-election to office. [applause] >> second shinseki, i especially want to thank you for your service to our nation, both as a distinguished army officer, and as secretary of veterans' affairs. because of your personal experience, your leadership of the v.a. is not just another job. you know firsthand what can happen to those who serve and how important it is that our nation take care of its veterans. we are here today to recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn one of the uniforms of our nation's armed services, whether they served in a combat zone like iraq or afghanistan, or remote destination, or somewhere around the world, a u.s. base in an allied country
9:58 pm
or right here in the united states, they all gave more than lip service to their country. they gave part of their lives, and some gave so much more, so much more. we honor them today because we stepped forward when their nation called. we also remind our fellow citizens that taking care of veterans, keeping the promises made to them, is a cost of defending our nation. veterans is kept faith with our nation, our nation must ensure that it keeps faith with its veterans. perhaps you saw on the news a couple weeks ago a story about a world war ii japanese american veteran, mr. frank tanabi. even though he was placed in enoccurment cap during the war he volunteered to serve in the army and in an interview he gave a number of years ago, he said, i wanted to do my part to prove i wasn't an enemy alien, that none of user with, that we were true americans and that if
9:59 pm
we ever got the chance, we could do our best to serve our country. and we did. end of quote. the story was newsworthy because mr. tanabi was ailing and cast his vote by absentee ballot just one week before he passed away. i believe mr. tanabi embodied what it means to be a veteran. paraclese who lived from 429-455 b.c. said freedom is the sheer possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. today at the 11th hour of the 11th month, 11th day, we honor those millions who defended our nation in the armed forces and pledge to remain steadfast in reminding our citizens of the debt that is owed to all veterans. thank you. [applause]
10:00 pm
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the secretary of veterans' affairs, the honorable eric k. shinseki. [applause] >> thank you very much. happy veterans day, everyone. what a beautiful day. . let me say mr. president congratulations to you and the vice president on your reelection. [applause] [applause] let me also congratulate the first lady and dr. biden for their leadership and support for veterans and veterans' families. [applause] [applause] medal of honor recipients, other department of defense
10:01 pm
leaders, and leaders of our uniform services in the case of our own department our deposit tear secretary, other v.a. colleagues and once again national president of the retired enlisted association, our co-host for this year's celebration, representatives of all of our other veteran service organizations, fellow veterans, other distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen, 94 years ago today the guns of world war i fell silent all along the western front. today we gather at this sacred national shrine to honor and thank americans of every generation who throughout our history have answered the call of duty to safe guard our nation during time of war and during periods of restless peace.
10:02 pm
22 million veterans, american veterans today have distinguished themselves by their service in uniform. their devotion and sacrifice are the bedrock of our sovereignty as a nation, our values as a people, our security as a democracy and our offer of hope to those in other lands who dream of the freed ms that we enjoy. the service of veterans has provided all of us the gift of liberty. though the doe boys of world war i are gone, our veterans today represent every other generation since. and so as we gather today before the start of the coming seasons of both thanksgiving and gift giving, we are grateful for the blessings bestowed on our country. this legacy of liberty continues. for the past 11 years the men and women of our armed forces
10:03 pm
have stood watch in iraq and afghanistan but also europe and korea and more than 150 other countries around the globe. more than 1.5 million veterans have served in combat in the combat theaters of iraq and afghanistan and the horn of africa. since 9/11 nearly 3 million veterans have departed the military having full filled their duty to the nation. nearly four years ago the president asked me to do two things. first, make things better for veterans now. and then transform the department of veterans affairs to better serve veterans well into the 21st century. and in doing so he alsoprovided leadership and support that resulted in increases to the v.a.'s budgets by nearly 40% between 2009 and this year
10:04 pm
2014. these are the resources which have greatly enhanced the care and services we're able to provide to millions of veterans. well over 800,000 of them have been added to v.a. healthcare role since 2009. disability compensation for 3.35 millionveterans including more than 359 who are 100% disabled. over $10 billion in education benefits to more than veterans and eligible family members. finally the country's largest cemetery system, 131 cemetaries where veterans are laid to rest and national shrines befitting their service and sacrifice. and finally one last time let me acknowledge the wonders accomplished by the first lady and dr. biden. i want to thank them both for the genuine care and concern they have for service members, for veterans and their families.
10:05 pm
veterans count ask for stronger advocates than the president, the vice president, the first lady and dr. biden. and that is why ladies and gentlemen it's my great personal and professional honor to present to you our commander in chief the president of the united states of america barack obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. please everybody be seated. good morning everyone. thank you secretary for a lifetime of service for our nation and for being such an advocate on behalf of american's veterans including your fellow vietnam veterans. to rick delaney, to vice president biden, and admiral and major general, our
10:06 pm
outstanding veteran service organizations, our men and women in uniform, active guard and reserve, and most of all to the proud veterans and family members joining us in this sacred place, it is truly a privilege and an honor to be with all of you here today. each year on the 11th day of the 11th month we pause as a nation and as a people to pay tribute to you, to thank you, to honor you. the heroes over the generations who have served this country of ours with distinction. moments ago i laid a wreath to remember every service member who has ever worn our nation's uniform. this day first and foremost belongs to them and their loved ones.
10:07 pm
to the father and mother, the husband and wife, the brother and sister, the comrade and the friend who when we leave here today will continue to walk these quiet hills and kneel before the final resting place of those they cherish most. on behalf of the american people, i say to you that the memory of your loved ones carries on not just in your hearts but in ours as well. i assure you that their sacrifice will never be forgotten. for it is in that sacrifice that we see the enduring spirit of america. since even before our founding, we have been blessed with an unbroken chain of patriots who have always come forward to serve. whenever america has come under attack, you've risen to her defense. whenever our freed ms have come
10:08 pm
under assault, you've responded with resolve. time and again, at home and abroad, you and your families have sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. today the proud nation expresses our gratitude. but we do so mindful that no ceremony or pa raid no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service. for that we must do more. for that we must commit this day and every day to serving you as well as you've served us. when i spoke here three years ago i spoke about today's generation of service members. this 9/11 generation who stepped forward after the
10:09 pm
towers fell and in the years since have stepped into history writing one of the greatest chapters in military service our country has ever known. you toppled a dictator and battled insurgency in iraq. you decimated al qaeda in afghanistan. you delivered justice to osama bin laden. tour after tour, year after year you and your families have done all that this country has asked. you've done that and more. three years ago i promised your generation that when your tour comes to an end, when you see our flag, when you touch our soil, you'll be welcomed home to an america that will forever fight for you as hard as you fought for us. as long as i'm your commander in chief that is the promise we will never stop working to keep.
10:10 pm
this is the first veterans day in a decade in which there are no american troops fighting and dying in iraq. [applause] 33,000 of our troops have returned from afghanistan and the transition there is under way. after a decade of war, our heroes are coming home. and over the next few years more than a million service members will transition back into civilian life. they will take off their uniforms and take on a new and lasting role. they will be veterans. as they come home, it falls to us, their fell citizens to be there for them and their families. not just now but always. not just for the first few years but for as long as they
10:11 pm
walk this earth. to this day we still care for a child of a civil war veteran. to this day we still care for over 100 spouses and children of the men who fought in the spanish american war. just last year i came here to pay tribute at frank buckles the last american veteran of world war i was laid to rest. frank stepped up and served in world war i for two years but the united states of america kept its commitment to serve him for many decades that followed. so long after the battles end, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side. that's who we are and that's who we will be for today's returning service members and their families because no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job or a roof over
10:12 pm
their head or the care that they have earned when they come home. [applause] we know the most urgent task is [applause] finding a new way to serve. that's why we made it a priority to help you find jobs worthy of your incredible skills and talents. that's why thanks to the work of michelle and joe biden our businesses have trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses. that's why we're transforming for the first time in decades how the military transitions service members from the battlefield to the work place. and because you deserve to share in the opportunities that you defend, we are making sure that the post 9/11 g.i. bill stays strong so you can earn a college education and pursue
10:13 pm
your dreams. [applause] [applause] if you find yourself struggling with the wounds of war, such as post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries, we'll bethere for you as well with the care and treatment you need. no veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits that you've earned. so we will continue to attack the claims backlog, we won't let up. we will not let up. [applause] and as we mark the 50th anniversary of the vietnam war we have secured new benefits for those veterans exposed to agent original -- orange.
10:14 pm
you needed it, we fought for it and we got it done. [applause] that's what we do in america. we take care of our own. we take care of our veterans. we take care of your families. not just by saluting you on one day once a year but by fighting for you and your families every day of every year. that's our obligation. a sacred obligation to all of you and it's an obligation that we gladly accept for officers. six months ago taylor was serving our nation in afghanistan and as a member of an explosive ordnance disposal team his job was one of the most dangerous there is, to lead the way through territory littered with hidden explosives to clear the way for his brothers in arms. on may 3rd while out on patrol taylor stepped on an i.e.d. the blast through him into the
10:15 pm
air and when he hit the ground he realized both his legs were gone and his left arm. and his right hand. but as he lay there fully conscious bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. he feared another i.e.d. was nearby. taylor's concern wasn't for his own life, it was for theirs. eventually they cleared the area, they tended to his wounds. they cared him -- car rid him off thebattlefield and days later he was cared to walter reid where he was only the 5th american to survive the amputation of all four limbs. his recovery has been long and it's captivated the nation. a few months after the attack
10:16 pm
with the help of prosthetics, the love and support of his family and above all his girlfriend who never left his side. he wasn't just walking again. in avid owe that went viral the world watched he and daniel dance again. i've often said the most humbling part of my job is serving as commander in chief and one of the reasons is every day i get to meet heroes. i met taylor and then in july at the white house i presented him with a purple heart. and right now hanging on a wall is a photo of that day in the white house, a photo of him smiling wide and standing tall. i should point out that taylor couldn't make it here today because they are out kayaking. [applause]
10:17 pm
in taylor we see the best of america, a spirit that says when we get knocked down we rise again. when times are tough, we come together. when one of us falters, we lift them up. in this country we take care of our own, especially our veterans who have served us so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. and we carry on knowing that our best days always lie ahead. on this day we thank all of our veterans from all of our wars, not just for your service to this country but for reminding us why america is and always will be the greatest nation on earth. god bless you, god bless our veterans, god bless our men and women in uniform and god bless
10:18 pm
these united states of america. thank you very much. [applause] >> please rise and join the united states navy band in singing god bless america. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:19 pm
10:20 pm
10:21 pm
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please remain standing as we retire the colors. retire the colors. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:22 pm
10:23 pm
10:24 pm
>> please be seated. this concludes the 2012 national veterans day observance. please be seated for the departure of the president of the united states. thank you for joining us today as we celebrate and honor all who served. [applause] - [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
10:25 pm
10:26 pm
tomorrow social movements event at 6:00 p.m. event live on c-span. >> 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through
10:27 pm
tax reform and entitlement reform. i'm proposing we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us. >> i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i'm not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. >> the new congress starts work in january but the current congress has work to do throughout the rest of the year in a lame duck session. work is impending on the fiscal cliff, the federal deficit, racing the debt ceiling and by
10:28 pm
how much and also sequestration. follow all the floor debates starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span2. >> now a discussion on the situation in afghanistan and the potential impact of president obama's reelection on the middle east. this is 30 minutes. daniel markey from the council on foreign relations. i want to begin with a general question of what the country looks like, who was running the country, and what our presence is felt like by the afghan people? guest: president hamid karzai has been there coming up on 10 years as president. in 2014, he is expected to step down with the next set of elections. you have a country that is
10:29 pm
still very much in turmoil despite the fact we have been at war there for quite some time. it's a place where you have seen accomplishments, say, on education, improvements in certain varieties of services delivered by the government, development, roads, things like that, but nothing near where you would need to see the kind of progress that people had hoped for after this long war and the expenditure by the united states. you have a place that is politically a bit still in turmoil, a president who has been relatively ineffective and, by many accounts, and the administration and government over there that is relatively corrupt. a security situation has not gotten a great deal better. it is quite problematic as the united states anticipates its military withdrawal at the same
10:30 pm
time over the next few years, year and half, as we are expecting a political transition there as well. host: as we move in 2014 and targeted with a drawl, how do we get their backs guest: to me, it's very difficult to see how the current pact leaves us in a place where we would like to be. what we like to see is a drawdown of the 70,000 forces to something, and we do not quite know what the number will be, 5000-10,000, perhaps less. it's hard to see how he believes something like that stable. the afghanistan forces are being built up. the numbers look good, i believe there are 350,000 forces army and police. that's a good accomplishment but those forces are not capable of maintaining stability in the face of an
10:31 pm
ongoing insurgency. there have been reports in the past several months that as we depart the insurgencies and you get a return to a general civil war. host: much has been written about the relationship and the lack thereof of the president of afghanistan. what is the relationship like and how does that affect the dynamics? guest: let's put it in relative terms. the relationship isn't like it was in the bush administration. what you saw was a very personal interaction, very routine exchanges between president bush in many ways perhaps even as much as once a week they would communicate. president obama came in and saw that as problematic. he you saw that he wasn't doing
10:32 pm
a good job and he wanted to distance himself and mike it clear this was going to be a more normal relationship with afghanistan. he's done that. and it came at the out set of the obama administration with some trouble. it caused a real rift to open up between the administrations and i would say that now you've got on the a place where it's a reasonably workable relationship but i wouldn't expect there is a lot of love loss between those two. they see each other as partners they have to deal with but don't have a high estimate of each other. he routinely cast gates the united states for it's military operations, for civilian casualties and a variety of other things that the obama white house doesn't take well to those criticisms and the
10:33 pm
white house has criticized him for his effectiveness and corruption and so on and that doesn't go well. so it's not a great relationship but there have been periods when it was worse during the past four years. host: let's go to a map of the region. you brought up pakistan. some reports saying it's hiding some of these militants that are involved in the upheaval that's going on within the afghanistan population. guest: yes, ever since 9/11 it's been widely appreciated that many of the afghanistan taliban leaders were forced out by the u.s. war into pakistan. for a period of time the expectation was that pakistan would do more against those fleeing taliban when it could. increasingly however the skepticism mounted and pakistan perceives some of those militants being had helpful to it. it maintains relationships with
10:34 pm
it in the network right on afghanistan's eastern border with pakistan. cease it as a militant group that pakistan has influence with, not necessarily full control over but relatively more friendly and doesn't want to pick a fight with in spite of the fact that the united states has placed pleasure on pakistan to do that over a period of years. so pakistan has provided a safe haven that allows them to continue in ways it wouldn't have had they taken a firmer line against these groups. >> jon is joining us from utah. good morning sir. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i just wanted to know if it's a
10:35 pm
good thing for america to really want to establish the government we want in these foreign countries instead of letting the democracy happen what happened in egypt, libya, democratic elections. they're going to have to deal with their own almost civil war like we had to make sure that they get the government they want and not necessarily our outcome can't just be we can establish a government that's friendly to us. it has to be the people and sometimes it takes generations for these governments to really take hold and be by the people. host: thanks for the call. guest: that's a fair point. i wouldn't say that the problem in afghanistan is the united states is opposed to democracy per say. what i would say is that the united states and the rest of
10:36 pm
the international community and afgans themselves have a long way to go before they have something that looks like a credible and effective democracy takes root. and before we get there, there is the prospect that the country could revert back to if not civil war but extensive conflict throughout the country, extreme violence and that is of concern to the united states. and the reason it's of concern is not simply a humanitarian one or to put who we want in power to afghanistan. it's a concern about what happens in a country like afghanistan when it's at civil war. and what has happened historically is that international terrorist organizations like al qaeda have taken root there and to find places that are ungoverned and to run training camps and so on. that has been problematic in
10:37 pm
the past. it need not happen again in afghanistan. we're aware of the threat that poses but it's a concern we would have to have if left to its own devices in the political process spirals more out of control and you get a spike in violence beyond where you are, you could see that happen again. host: the president adopt the afghanistan's strategy. should he have ignored the experts. >> general christ cal came back to washington and what has been called the surge. president obama accepted the great deal of that strategy, accepted a surge in about 30,000 forces, took us up to a high of about 100,000 and accepted the broad notion that
10:38 pm
such a surge might bring greater stability to the country. what he didn't accept was a couple of things. one would be if the generals could have asked for what they wanted they would have liked more forces. they would have also liked a longer time line. they were willing to accept what the president offered in terms of an 18 month surge but many had doubts. many so called experts who supported the idea of a more broad based insurgency effort believed that could not be accomplished or that the corner might not be turned in 18 months so that's what we've seen. now it's going to be a debate for history as to whether if the president had acquiesced to a broad longer term effort there whether he could have gotten afghanistan to turn the corner and people will take both sides of that issue. host: joining us on the phone is the news director in
10:39 pm
afghanistan thanks for being with us. caller: good evening. let me pick up on something that is stability in the country. it is not a stable country. the latest round of car bombings with 20 people killed over the last couple of days. but if you look at the country you're living in and covering for the associates press what parts of afghanistan are stable if any? caller: there are parts of afghanistan that are stable. the issue isn't stability but freedom of movement. there have been some gains in the south. there are broad parts of southern afghanistan that are more secure than they were before the surge. eastern afghanistan is a different story. there is still a lot of fighting going on along the pakistan border. there are a couple of provinces that are not governable but we
10:40 pm
get back to freedom of movement, how safe is it for afghanistan people to move around and it's not thatgood. afghanistan people can't travel so the situation right now is stable in parts of the country. there is sort of a stable government but it's far from being a success story. host: and what about pakistan's role in all of this? caller: as you know pakistan has been accused by the u.s. government and other western governments of providing safe havens for some of the taliban and some of the other groups that are infiltrating into afghanistan. now pakistan also realizes that after 2014 when those combat troops leave this country they can't have an unstable afghanistan for the simple reason that a lot of the
10:41 pm
taliban that are fighting in pakistan to over throw that government, will find safe havens in afghanistan. so pakistan doesn't want an unstable afghanistan post 2014. we've seen lately we've seen some steps being made by the pakistan government to try to serve like find a way to get the peace talks going again. the high peace council to try to find some form of reconciliation with the insurgents. the delegation is going to pakistan this week to talk to the pakistan government. most leaders are believed to be living in pakistan. a couple of them we think are in pakistan detention. so pakistan will play lay very big role in post 2014 afghanistan stability. host: more soldiers killed in
10:42 pm
pakistan published. many of these deaths result of what some to believe to have been afghanistan soldiers in camouflage killing american soldiers. has anything changed in the last couple of months? >> they have taken steps to control these insider attacks to varying degrees of success. they've established the guardian angel program where an armed trooper will look out after his fellow soldiers while they're sleeping. they've changed the way they're operating with afghanistan troops. this isn't something that will go away. let's not forget the u.s. government spent billions of dollars growing the afghanistan security forces from 70,000 to 3552,000 now.
10:43 pm
this has been one of the largest military recruitments training programs that the world has ever seen. the u.s. government spent billions, i think it was $22 billion in 2010 or 2011. so it's not unnatural to see these time of attacks. of course the insurgency will take advantage of this. how do you get tens ofthousands of recruits. they have taken steps to find way to prevent this from happening. it's unavoidable we've had 60 killings and 42 attacks. just yesterday two spanish soldiers were wounded by two afghanistan national army soldiers who opened fire on them. so this is something that is quite worrisome because you've got insurgents to worry about
10:44 pm
and this entire problem inside the afghanistan army that you are training and mentoring. host: i'm going to look at this tweet but it's from one of our viewers who says the only violence is caused by us being there. how do you respond to our american presence in afghanistan and what contributions we may have played in the violence going on in the country. caller: this is an interesting question. i'm not going to comment on who said this but the taliban say it's foreign forces left this violence would stop because there would be no one to attack. the issue here is it's not just the u.s. military or nato military forces here that are fighting the insurgency. it's the afghanistan governmentals fighting the insurgency so if all the forces left tomorrow does that mean they will stop fighting the
10:45 pm
government? i doubt that unless there is some peace process. i don't believe they're going to give up fighting because the troops are gone. host: thank you very much for being with us. host: how do you respond to that same question, our presence over there? guest: i would agree. it's sort of to not recognize history to recognize they have been at war internally for decades that and some of that was a response to outside forces first the soviet invasion and so on and more recently the u.s. military effort there. but it is not the only reason why they are fighting and it relates tie broader point that is sometimes made that the region itself could manage this problem if the united states
10:46 pm
pulled itself out. that is the pakistan people an the afghanistan people and russians and so on would find a way to come to terms if the united states would stop throwing its weight around. that is a historical analysis. the region hasn't found a way to keep the region stable and peaceful for much of its history. so there is little reason to anticipate while the united states makes many blunders there and has sparked localized responses that are nationalistic efforts to kick the americans out, no doubt. but that's not the only reason for this fight. host: how many u.s. troops in afghanistan? guest: about 70,000 now. host: how many in iraq? guest: almost none. host: good morning.
10:47 pm
caller: i've spent the last years in iraq and afghanistan. host: charles, why do you go over there? caller: i'm a civilian contractor. i must say that i believe that we must continue with the process. the 2014 deadline a little bit of flexibility one way or the other is not a bad thing. but we must look to 10, 15, 20 years down the road. that is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. their water, sewer, infrastructure and owl of that is already feeling the strain. and the international community and the united states could
10:48 pm
increase aiding the civilian side. they got the trains to run on time. if we can help the afghanistan people with infrastructure, roads, schools, hospitals, electric power delivery, water purification. if we can convince them to play ball and work with them closely 10, 15, years down the road we're looking at a stable afghanistan. and we must not overlook the gee political fact afghanistan is next to iran. host: can you stay on the line. caller: yes. guest: i think the caller is right in terms of observation that we do have a long term strategic interest in this part of the world. and number two i think what he is saying is in line with what the u.s. state department has been saying about the u.s. presence in afghanistan and that is the military presence will draw done 2014 the expectation at least in
10:49 pm
civilian quarters within the u.s. government is they will try to maintain a civilian presence beyond that. the problem that many analysts in washington including i have with this characterization is a civilian presence is going to have a hard time working in afghanistan without the kind of stabilizing presence of the u.s. military. and because i'm concerned that as the military draws down, a relatively untested afghanistan national security force may not be able to maintain to make the kind of work the caller does in afghanistan as possible as it is today. there is a fear you could get a spiraling downward of violence forcing civilians out, fewer civilians to make the country work for effectively and deliver assistance makes more violence more likely and eventually it looks like civil war. and that's the concern that
10:50 pm
people have is that the military draw down will be too fast to stand up the afghanistan security forces and stand up the country to allow civilians like the caller is doing. host: is the education of the people the answer that live in the small villages and the mountains? guest: education is an answer but it takes a while to bring somebody from childhood up to maturity and educate them along the way and it takes longer to put into place teachers in a country like afghanistan who are themselves educated enough to teach the children. it's a generational process but a necessary one to achieve healthy societies. but it's not the kind of thing that wins in two years or five years or 18 months in a military surge. these things have to go together. host: we're talking about the war in afghanistan and the troops in that country.
10:51 pm
as you talk to people in afghanistan based on your travels how do they view america? caller: i've heard nothing but praise. i don't speak the lang but i've worked with civilians and the military and the american presence is very favorably looked upon, we're helping individual people and bringing security. and everything i've heard is very positive. host: thanks for the call. we'll go to a caller listening from england go ahead. caller: can i speak now? host: you can. caller: in this country we had a peace march recently. and one of the part pants comes
10:52 pm
from a pakistanto put it briefly he's putting political party andin to be the leader of pakistan next year when the election comes up and i heard him talking about his political ambitions. he says because the drones that go over his country that cause the people to be so angry that the young mails of that region are turning towards al qaeda because they're so angry with the drones coming over. and he says if he gets leader of pakistan he's going to have the drones shot down. and that's not my words. it's his words and i just think sometimes actions are taken the road to hell is paved with good intentions and i think a lot of the situation that's going on now in the middle east is that it seems to be the more you go in because you cannot change a culture of centuries over night.
10:53 pm
that's my point. host: thanks for the call. response. guest: it's a great observation. he is a fascinating pakistan politician. a man to watch as they go through their own elections. he is somebody who has publicly criticized the use of drones. he continues to do things and says the things the caller described routinely. he is correct in a narrow sense. they are unpopular in pakistan when people are asked around the country they oppose them. that's not surprising. it's plane that is are flying overhead shooting down missiles at people and incinerating them. and the idea that some other country would be doing that in your skies is deeply unappealing. and usually much worse than that. but the story is a little bit more complicated than that. drones that are flying over the
10:54 pm
border areas between pakistan and afghanistan have been effective at targeting senior terrorist as well as senior members of the taliban fighting in afghanistan. and by many if not all accounts, the degree of civilian casualties that have taken place has plummeted. the drones are much more careful tactical effective tool than is widely appreciated or than he would admit. and many pakistan people who live in this border area recognize it's not just the drones they've been fighting. it's the drones on the one hand and the terrorist on the other. and the terrorist have disrupted this region, assassinated tribal leaders, have dislocated populations, scared them forced them to flee
10:55 pm
and changed social networks in this area in ways that make it utterly different from what it has been historically. so when he says that the drones are the problem. i think he's telling a part of the story but by no means the whole story and that's what makes this so complicated. host: our guest is a senior fellow on the foreign relations and the author of a new upcoming book no exit the future of the u.s. pakistan relationship. good morning to you sir. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i have a question. the reason americans intervention of afghanistan failed -- i would call it failed no matter how everybody else looks at it is because american policy makers do not understand the culture of a
10:56 pm
country like afghanistan. host: your response. guest: well, i would agree that most americans and most u.s. policy makers find afghanistan difficult if not impossible to disentangle in all of its complexity. i would say however, it's relatively too simple to say that's the sum total of why we failed. we failed for a lot of different reasons and at different times for different reasons. i would say at the out set after 9/11 it was not clear within the bush administration whether this would be in fact a kind of a nation making e estate building exercise with an extensive u.s. commitment to afghanistan. all kinds of words were used building democracy getting girls to school and so on. it was a grand program but it was not met by any commitment of resources that would enable such a thing.
10:57 pm
10,000 20,000 forces wasn't going to do it. the obama administration reversed the equation, ramped up its level of military commitment and civilian commitment but on a short time line and with narrower goals. that is counter terrorism and leaving the place better than we found it. i would say both are flawed but in different ways. some have to do with misunderstanding afghanistan. some have to do with problems of resources and time lines and misunderstanding just how hard a problem afghanistan would be even under the best of circumstances. host: we have less than a minute. what piece of advice would you give the president moving ahead? guest: he's going to have a new national security team, hillary clinton will be leaving and so on.
10:58 pm
right now the strategy in afghanistan does not appear to be working. it's falling apart on multiple fronts. you talk about insider attacks on the security forces, corruption in the afghanistan government and we're looking at so far, not very promising effort to bring the taliban to the negotiating table. all of this needs to be revisited. the president made it clear heed like to get u.s. forces out by 2014 and the question is whether he needs to stick to that or have a little bit of flexibility there. host: thank you for your time. guest: thank you. host: we'll be joined tomorrow by fawn johnson as we take a
10:59 pm
washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on spavepb c-span. next q and a with -- and prime minister takes questions from the house of commons. >> i enjoy watching book tv and the rebroadcast of various television news programs. i like c-span, it provides coverage of events without the kind of editing you see on other programs and it gives me an opportunity to consume the news and information about make up my own mind about what is going on. c-span is a great way to get an

Public Affairs
CSPAN November 11, 2012 9:35pm-11:00pm EST

News News/Business.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Pakistan 28, Us 19, U.s. 15, United States 14, Obama 6, Taylor 5, Iraq 5, Vietnam 4, Dr. Biden 3, Rick Delaney 3, Arlington 3, Washington 3, United States Navy 2, Mr. Rick Delaney 2, Obama Administration 2, Mr. Tanabi 2, Afghanistan 2, Norbert Ryan Jr. 1, C-span 1, Joe Biden 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:25:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 91 (627 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 11/12/2012